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Reaction: BMA leadership row

The BMA Council's decision to rally round Dr Meldrum comes after GP leaders lent their backing to the embattled chair.

Last night, responding to Pulse's story on Dr Meldrum issuing a ‘back me or sack me' call, Dr Clare Gerada, RCGP chair and a GP in Kennington, said:

‘Hamish is an excellent leader - these are very difficult times - for all of us. We need support not censure. '

Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the Family Doctor Association, said: ‘This militant view of the world from a small group of London doctors does not reflect the mood of the membership as a whole.'

'There are many doctors, in secondary as well as primary care, who realise that the reforms in the health bill, while not universally palatable, at least set an agenda which can be good for patients.'

‘Constructive engagement is essential - the last time we dug our toes in as a profession and said no no no, we were locked out of dialogue with Government for a decade and unable to influence policy at all.'

'We need Hamish's level head and firm negotiating style at the head of our profession and we would be deeply impoverished if a small caucus caused resignation.'